Why Malawi President Chakwera is reducing presidential powers

Lazarus Chakwera, the leader of Malawi’s main opposition, addresses supporters on 20 June before his election victory. Photograph: Amos Gumulira /AFP

Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera is working on proposing a legislation aimed at trimming his presidential powers.

Chakwera says this is in an effort to empower the citizens, noting that having a president who makes too many decisions had created problems and mismanagement in Malawi.

Chakwera has faulted the present arrangement which puts the president as an appointing authority for top positions in the Judiciary, Parliament, the Executive, parastatals and in foreign diplomatic missions.

“This is unwise. No person is good or humble enough to be entrusted with that much appointing power, for it is not possible for a president to be the appointing authority of that many offices without at some point coming face to face with a conflict of interest,” Chakwera said in an address.

Trimming presidential powers was among the campaign promises Chakwera made, which saw him defeat former President Peter Mutharika in an election re-run.


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